In-Car Mounting Notebook PC for Oziexplorer

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 10:25
ThreadID: 15050 Views:2064 Replies:8 FollowUps:9
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I have an NP Pajero (current model) and would dearly like to have my notebook PC mounted so that either or the driver/front seat passenger can use it for navigation while on the run. ie moving map feature of Oziexplorer and additional features of Travel Mate.
I designed and built a prototype "desk" that can be quickly clipped in and out of the upper glove box. It work very well but I've abandoned this idea because of safety issues for the front seat passenger. The desk itself is a hazard and the screen would be directly in front of the passengers side air bag.
I am looking at three solutions but would like to hear from others who have had to solve this problem.
a) "Mobile Desk" make a stand for notebook PCs but the response about suitability for the Paj was not good.
b) I can buy a PDA (say Ipaq) and run Oziexploer CE but Travel Mate doesn't run in CE.
c) I can go to Liliput screen and find a way of mounting it. Perhaps using the "Clic-on" product by Neovox

There's not a lot of cost difference in these three ideas and each has it positives and negatives.
The notebook, itself, is relatively large and can get in the way of comfortable and safe operation of the vehicle if mounted so that the screen can be seen, but the screen is large and I can have all my maps on the hard drive.
The PDA screen is small and I find it difficult to get the overview that I would like. It's also limited in memory but it is portable and can be used for other functions such as its name implies.
The Lilliput screen needs a mouse because the touch screen, especially in a moving vehicle, is hard to operate. The screen is still a little small although better than the PDA and I don't have the problems with memory.
Any and all comments/suggestions welcome.

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Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 11:40

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 11:40
After seeing the Lilput in action in Peter - YorkWA's patrol and using my own 15" Laptop on the passenger seat I would say 150% go for the Lilput screen and mouse. Yeah it's small, but it's hi resolution unlike the PDA which is small and low res.
In short the lilput is fine as long as it's close to you face. (maybe hang from roof etc). With the laptop the screen is big, but it's normally accross the other side of the car, so I would have approx the same amount of detail as a Lilput right in front of me.
Just my 2c.
AnswerID: 69852

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 11:51

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 11:51
Thanks Jeff
FollowupID: 330076

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 14:33

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 14:33
G'day Rosscoe, I have a mounting developed from what Member Eric suggested. I have a yatching RAM mount behind the arm rest and a stainless tube carrying the aluminium rectangular plate to carry the notebook. It can swivel to the driver but used even to type on by the passenger

It tends to float with the notebook on it and even handled the Simpson jolts by floating the height transferring little vibration or shock. My notebook had a small screen though and is well suited to the use in a vehicle. When not in use it can stand vertically between the front seats

You can view my pics clicking here if you are interested...
AnswerID: 69879

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 14:46

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 14:46

Looks impressive. However time and ability to rig something like this up is against me. I am leaving on a 10 week trip 20 August and still got lots of preparation to do. I think I'm going to have to have some thing that is readily, comercialy available or else leave it until next time.
Thank you for your reponse.
FollowupID: 330098

Follow Up By: Vince NSW - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 15:18

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 15:18
John, Where can I get One ???
On our recent trip to Birdsville via Innamincka I tryed using the lap top but it ment SHMBO had to have it on Her lap, not good for comfort of safety. At the end of the first day we gave up and down loaded the tracks from the GPS each night.
What parts of your unit come from where & what is yatching RAM
FollowupID: 330100

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 15:30

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 15:30

Check out Not sure if they make one that fits your car but they look quite good. I'd like to hear from someone who has used one before I part with the $400.00 they're asking.


FollowupID: 330101

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 16:31

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 16:31
Rosscoe, the mobile desk seems a solid mount and I would hate to hit one.

The RAM mount was $75 at JVMarine in Melbourne and I would guess available at a yachting chandler superstore in capital cities. It is actually the mount for an antenna that is mounted off the floor by nearly half a metre on a solid pipe base - it doesn't move. The jaws of the ram grip the ball. It had a 3/4" bsp brass fitting in it. Supposed to be able to carry 53 pounds weight but not sure of the torque applied but a lot of the weight is carried on the armrest padding.

The piece of stainless was about 5/8" diameter and the local engineer made up the 3mm aluminium plate, boss and arms in about 2-3 hours only just before we went away at the end of June. It took longer to bolt the base to the floor. I am not sure of the total cost there. I did a bit to help expedite things too - well a little bit.

Vince, it does not take a long time with a hot laptop on your thigh to invent a better way. Your wife would not have enjoyed it much.
FollowupID: 330117

Follow Up By: Vince NSW - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 16:36

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 16:36
Thanks for the info John. I will try Bias Boating as they have a store just around the cnr.
FollowupID: 330119

Reply By: Ian(Qld) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 16:39

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 16:39

Are you in Brisbane?? I have an Ipaq mounted in the dash with a multi directional fitting that works really well with moving map and I can zoom in and out. Happy to show you if you wish
AnswerID: 69903

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 16:57

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 16:57

No, I live in Wollongong, about 70 kms south of Sydney. The Ipaq is definitely an option but SWMBO gets frustrated with the limited view on the notebook so I am not sure how she will go with the small Ipaq screen.
What model Ipaq and what type/model GPS are you using? I have a Garmin GPS II Plus which works ell wit Osie.
Appreciate the offer just the same.


FollowupID: 330126

Reply By: Ian(Qld) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 17:01

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 17:01

I'll take some photos tomorrow and give a more detailed reply. Closing the shop now.
AnswerID: 69910

Reply By: Member - Cruisin (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 17:05

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 17:05
Hi Rosco

All I did was to buy a lazy susan type swivel mount from Bunnings and 2 peices of plywood, works a treat. Cost about $40.00. Mind you I do have a large centre console (100 Series) that can sit a laptop on it easily. The device is velcroed on to the top lid and you can therefore gain access to the console. The Laptop is attached using Velcro stuck to the underside of the Laptop and the other side is on top of the swivel. About 5 strips. Very strong hold. Have a look at the following link for photo's

Laptop Swivel

Cheers Cruisin
AnswerID: 69911

Follow Up By: Lynn2 - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 06:18

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 06:18
Thanks Cruisin,
I've seen those things at Bunnings. Looks like a simple and good idea. My console is also reasonably large and the lid slies backwards and forwards so that would allow me to push the PC back out of the way when not required.
It looks like you've used luggage type straps to hold th e bottom ply to the console lis and velcro pads to hold the PC in place. Is that the case?
FollowupID: 330211

Follow Up By: Member - Cruisin (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 06:41

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 06:41
Hi Lyn

The straps I used to tie down are also Velcro, 2 long peices of either velcro gender and the front one is clamped in place by the lazy susan.
I have a foam square underneath the lower ply. This allows the velcro straps to compress the foam when you do them up and then the base is held very securely by the foam as it has alot of grip. Works well
Hope this helps

Cheers Cruisin
FollowupID: 330212

Reply By: Lynn2 - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 07:03

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 07:03
Thanks again,

Forgot to log SWMBO out and me in.


PS In touble, again.
AnswerID: 69994

Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 17:18

Monday, Aug 09, 2004 at 17:18
Have you worked out anything yet.
I am still deliberating on what I will do.
AnswerID: 71904

Reply By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 13:30

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004 at 13:30
I'm using an IPAQ. I've just loaded all the required natmaps for our Trip (20 Maps) onto a 256mb card. I had to resize and recalibrate the maps to get them in which took a bit of time. But it now a very smick solution.

The screen resolution (IPAQ 3900) is more than adequate.

I'll still be taking the laptop to down load photos and just in case we decide to divert and we need extra maps but obviously don't need it up and running on the road.

AnswerID: 72027

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